Make these tasty Smoked Chicken Thighs on your Pellet Grill, wonderfully paired with a variety of side dishes and vegetables!
Smoked Chicken Thighs are one of our go-to recipes on the smoker or pellet grill, pairing them with Grilled Corn on the Cob and even some Smoked Asparagus is a wonderful meal.
Do you have to use brine for smoked chicken thighs?
You do not have to brine the chicken before smoking it; however, in this recipe, I am using a brine, which I do think is absolutely a wonderful addition to chicken.
Adding the brine to the chicken is going to make it super moist, juicy, and just full of flavor.
The brine can be prepared earlier in the day or the night before and then the chicken can sit in it overnight or up to 24 hours before serving.
We have found the brine to be a beneficial addition to smoking chicken thighs.
What pellets should you use for Smoked Chicken Thighs?
Any pellets can be used for Smoked Chicken Thighs, but we have found apple and cherry give it the best flavor.
It is totally up to you though, I also like a variety of pellets. Remember the flavor of pellets is going to impact your chicken thighs though, so you do want something that compliments it.
Do you need to add sauce to Smoked Chicken Thighs?
These chicken thighs have a great flavor and taste without the sauce; however, they are great served with barbecue sauce too. We like to use the Apple Habanero from Head Country.
Tips for Making Smoked Chicken Thighs:
When making really any meat on the smoker, a probe or meat thermometer is a must-have. The times will vary because each smoker is different; however, the best way to measure when the meat is done is with a meat thermometer.
The meat thermometer does not have to be super expensive, I use this one linked here for at least 4 years now almost daily and it still looks as good as it did new!
We also make these with the skin-on and bone-in, you can make these similarly with boneless, skinless chicken thighs simply watch the temperature of the meat so that you do not overcook it.
Want to grill these? Check out these Pellet Grilled Chicken Thighs.
Smoked Chicken Thighs
- 8-10 Bone-In, Skin-On Chicken Thighs
- 8 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 8 Sprigs Fresh Oregano
- 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Boiling Water (to Dissolve the brown sugar and salt)
- 3/4 Cup Apple Cider or Apple Juice
- 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce or Gluten-Free Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Coarse Kosher Salt
- 1 Tsp Black Pepper
- 2 Tsp Paprika
- 2 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 Tsp Onion Powder
- 1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- Olive Oil
- Add all brine ingredients to a medium-size bowl. All the mixture to cool to room temperature.
- Add the chicken thighs to a large zipper bag, and pour the brine over the chicken thighs. Seal and place in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
- Combine all the dry rub seasoning ingredients into a mixing bowl.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the brine and pat dry.
- Trim off any excess fat from the chicken thighs. Drizzle them with olive oil and coat both sides with the seasoning, pressing it to evenly coat.
- Preheat the smoker to 180*F.
- Place the chicken thighs directly on the smoker and smoke for 1 hour at 180*F.
- Increase the temperature to 350*F and roast until with a probe or meat thermometer, the internal temperature reaches 165*F. This usually takes about 30-45 minutes.
- Remove from the smoker and cover loosely with foil, allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
- Store leftovers in fridge.